As a country that once stood for safeguarding human rights, South Africa simply cannot get away with its non-alignment farce and Ramaphosa needs to come clean about his support for a dictatorial regime which is alleged to be actively funding the ANC ~
President Ramaphosa can neither feign ignorance, nor attempt to undermine the opposition on SA’s involvement in Russia’s war on Ukraine. If weapons were loaded onto Lady R, then South Africa is complicit in this war, and has sided with international war criminals and despots. pic.twitter.com/7jHFM42frm
— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) May 11, 2023
John Steenhuisen, Leader of the Democratic Alliance – 11 May 2023 in News
The declaration by United States Ambassador to South Africa, Reuben Brigety, that war materials and ammunition were loaded onto sanctioned Russian ship, Lady R, which departed South Africa’s naval base in Simon’s Town in December 2022, is a chilling and deeply troubling confirmation that President Cyril Ramaphosa and his government are actively involved in the Russian Federation’s war on Ukraine.
When I confronted President Ramaphosa in today’s sitting of the National Assembly, requesting that he confirm, once and for all, to South Africa and the world, whether war materials from South Africa were indeed loaded onto the Lady R, a sanctioned ship that should never have been permitted to enter South African waters, the President refused to answer me.
I will be writing to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, to table an urgent debate of national importance on South Africa’s involvement in Russia’s war on Ukraine, and the dire economic consequences South Africa faces as a result of this violation of international law, and South Africa’s own Constitutional-based foreign policy.
This development proves not only that South Africa is not non-aligned in Russia’s war on Ukraine, but that President Ramaphosa and his government have already lied to South Africa and the world as to our country’s involvement in this devastating conflict.
In two replies to DA parliamentary questions, on the 23rd of October and the 18th of November 2022 respectively, both then Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Thandi Modise, and Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, denied that South African arms manufacturers had supplied weapons to the Russian Federation and that Armaments Corporation of South Africa had sold arms and ammunition, propellant powder and/or explosives to the Russian Federation.
Confirmation by US intelligence in South Africa that the Lady R vessel departed Simon’s Town after having been loaded with war materials now brings into question the transparency of the ANC national government with the South African people and our international partners.
To put the gravity of this development into perspective, the South African government has jeopardised close to 77% of foreign direct investment stock in South Africa in recent years from the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, including hundreds of billions of rands in trade, for a country with whom our trade is only around 0,3%. This also jeopardises South Africa’s preferential access to the US market under the auspices of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
With our economy on its knees and rampant unemployment, the ANC is now forsaking South Africa’s last chance at economic renewal based solely on greed and personal interest.
The ANC is siding with Russia for one reason alone: because the Russian Federation is funding the ANC, and thus infiltrating and destabilising South African democracy.
The Russian war on Ukraine has ravaged the Ukrainian nation and led to mass migration, human displacement, and widespread human rights abuses.
South Africa’s support and involvement of this war indicates that the ANC-led national government has trampled on the values and principles espoused in our human rights-based Constitution, in favour of a global war-mongerer and despot.
More worryingly, it signals that under the ANC, South Africa has regressed into a nation that has abandoned the principles of freedom, fairness, and equality.
The ANC has sacrificed everything that we fought to achieve in 1994 for the whims of President Vladimir Putin.
“By secretly providing weapons to Russia, President Ramaphosa has betrayed the people of South Africa: our democratic values and our hopes for economic growth. He has enabled the killing of innocent civilians. And he has shown us who he is.
In the face of a massive loss of electoral support due to loadshedding, economic stagnation, crime and corruption, the ANC is going for broke – literally liquidating the country’s wealth and international good will – to save itself.
The DA has requested an urgent debate of national importance on this matter. South Africans deserve to know the truth.
On 9 May we submitted a PAIA application to access the official documentation showing the goods that were loaded on the Russian ship Lady R as well as on the Russian plane that landed at Air Force Base Waterkloof.
We have motivated for Defence Minister Thandi Modise to be fired.”
ActionSA calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to urgently take the nation into his confidence over the allegations that the South African government supplied weapons to Russia amid its ongoing war against Ukraine.
The allegations by US Ambassador, Reuben Brigety, that South Africa supplied weapons to Russia in December 2022 adds credence to ActionSA’s belief that Ramaphosa’s government never had a non- aligned approach to the Ukraine-Russian war and, in fact, actively supports President Putin’s unjust war.
I will also be writing to the US Ambassador to request that they share any information regarding this allegation with the South African people. Should the allegation prove to be true, this will assist the South African people to hold Ramaphosa’s government to account.
The ANC’s commitment to supporting Russia during the ongoing war is another sign of how the ruling party does not care about the needs of South Africans but would sacrifice an already battered local economy to appease Russia.
Actively supporting Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine will harm South Africa’s reputation with our international partners. At a time where our economy is already struggling, the reality is that we cannot afford to alienate major trade partners by becoming complicit in Putin’s war.
As a country that once stood for safeguarding human rights, South Africa simply cannot get away with its non-alignment farce and Ramaphosa needs to come clean about his support for a dictatorial regime which is alleged to be actively funding the ANC.
ActionSA reiterates that it is opposed to all forms of aggression and respects the sovereignty of the Ukrainian people during the ongoing conflict. ActionSA was founded on respect for democracy, human rights, and the Rule of Law, both domestic and international. These values are entrenched in the South African Constitution and should underpin all our foreign policy consideration.
I was grateful for the opportunity to speak with Foreign Minister Pandor this evening and correct any misimpressions left by my public remarks. In our conversation, I re-affirmed the strong partnership between our two countries & the important agenda our Presidents have given us.
— Ambassador Reuben Brigety (@USAmbRSA) May 12, 2023
Presidency responds to claims of weapons supply to Russia made by the US Ambassador
11 May 2023
The Presidency has noted with concern remarks attributed to the United States Ambassador to South Africa, Reuben E Brigety, alleging the supply by South Africa of weapons to Russia.
The Ambassdor’s remarks undermine the spirit of cooperation and partnership that characterised the recent engagements between US government officials and a South African official delegation led by National Security Special Advisor to the President, Dr Sydney Mufumadi.
It is public knowledge that a Russian vessel known as Lady R docked in South Africa. Allegations have since been made about the purpose of the voyage. While no evidence has been provided to date to support these allegations, the Government has undertaken to institute an independent enquiry to be led by a retired judge.
In recent engagements between the South African delegation and US officials, the Lady R matter was discussed and there was an agreement that an investigation will be allowed to run its course, and that the US intelligence services will provide whatever evidence in their possession.
It is therefore disappointing that the US Ambassador has adopted a counter-productive public posture that undermines the understanding reached on the matter and the very positive and constructive engagements between the two delegations.
President Putin’s war continues to yield extraordinary human costs. The U.S. gladly and strongly supports those working for justice for the people of Ukraine. We thank our Polish partners for hosting this week's Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group to pursue truth and accountability. pic.twitter.com/mkySLQFIHB
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) May 12, 2023
⚡ Zelensky holds call with South African President.
Volodymyr Zelensky said he had spoken with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on May 13. The two talked about "the peace formula, about justice, and about how our world should be united by the rules of international law."
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) May 14, 2023